Sussex County Sheriff Michael Strada defeated his challenger, Sheriff’s Lt. Andy Boden, 7,415-3,484 Tuesday.
Democrats aren’t running a candidate for sheriff, so Strada’s 36-point has effectively elected him to the role.
The race has been marked by animosity and personal attacks.
Boden, who has been suspended since early march following a police psychologist’s ruling that the corrections officer needed to attend therapy to guarantee he would not harm anyone in the course of his duties, attacked alleged Strada had created a “culture of harassment and mental abuse.”
The psychologist recommended Strada seek additional treatment before
The three-term sheriff’s camp claimed Boden was disgruntled over his suspension and a shared services agreement that would result in a longer commute for the county’s corrections officers.
All employees affected by the shared services agreement were reassigned.
Boden attacked Strada over a number of incidents, including one involving an undersheriff using a county-owned generator at his home and another in which corrections officers were forced to buy gloves from a vending machine.
The race got a boost in profile after WNBC aired two segments on the race highlighting alleged abuses carried out by Erich Olsen, said to be a close ally of Strada’s, that included an incident during which Olsen performed a simulated sex act on a deputy using a T.V. remote.
Strada’s predecessor, Robert Untig, endorsed Boden, saying he’d like to see someone who was an officer within the sheriff’s office lead the agency.
Strada, who narrowly lost to the then seven-term sheriff when he mounted a primary against him in 2007, was a police detective in Mount Olive before becoming sheriff.